• Politics
  • Updated: January 31, 2023

2023 Presidency: Why I Left APC, PDP — Kwankwaso

On February 25, two-term Kano State Governor, Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso and his “alien but dominant party”, the New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP) will among others, be up against national parties he was instrumental to their formation, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the forthcoming presidential election.

He has however revealed why he dumped those parties. 

Kwankwaso made the disclosure in Ibadan on Tuesday when he appeared on a political programme on a radio station in Ibadan before proceeding to the Obafemi Awolowo Stadium (formerly Liberty Stadium) Ibadan for his party’s rally. 

He also appealed to Oyo State voters to shun the religious and ethnic undertones painted by other candidates and consider him for the biggest administrative position of the land because he is the only presidential candidate that has interacted directly with ordinary Nigerians at the grassroots. 

I have paid my dues even to the Yorubas

Nigeria’s presidential election has been knitted across religious and ethnic lines by both the presidential candidates and their supporters.

Kwankwaso said even though he would prefer to speak to the issues, the truth that he had paid more significant dues to the southwest than the other candidates would even make him welcome the challenge if they want to trek the path.

“Let me tell you categorically that Bashir Tofa of the NRC who contested against MKO Abiola of the SDP in 1993 is my kinsman.

"We are from the same ward and we voted at the same polling unit.

"Because of Abiola’s capacity, competence and my conviction that he could do the job better, we voted against Tofa.

"Even though he won our polling unit at the time, he didn’t win our constituency.

"I am certainly one of those who delivered MKO Abiola’s victory."

The former Minister of Defence also recounted that he was at the forefront of supporting Olusegun Obasanjo in 1999 even when most southwestern people turned their backs against him. 

“In 1999, I alongside a few others made Alhaji Muhammadu Abubakar Rimi, a PDP presidential aspirant from Kano, my home state, stepped down for Olusegun Obasanjo to obtain the PDP presidential ticket.

"I stood with Obasanjo till he won the election when most of us from the north were distant”, he detailed. 

He added: “If we want to base this coming election on rewarding loyalty”, it is the southwest’s turn to repay his loyalty. 

But I won’t trek that path

Kwankwaso said because any candidate whose strategy was to play the ethnic card would lose disgracefully, he wouldn’t follow a such route.

“Any candidate whose campaign is based on ethnicity has deliberately lost the election.

"I need everyone’s vote. I need 25% of the votes almost everywhere. So, I don’t need the ethnic game.

"We (NNPP) are very strong in Kano State but we have now expanded to all 36 states with our foot soldiers in all polling units in the country."

Voting based on ethnicity brings zero joy

Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso was a pillar out of the bedrock that brought President Muhammadu Buhari to Aso rock in 2015 even though he alongside Atiku Abubakar contested against Buhari in the APC primaries at the dawn of the election and worked meritoriously for the party’s victory. 

Kwankwaso said: “Despite President Buhari coming from my region and working relentlessly for him, I did not benefit from his leadership.

"Take this to the bank; the PDP group that joined forces with the APC in 2015 gave them that victory.

"The PDP group won the 2015 election for Buhari.

"They don't know how to win an election. But despite all of my efforts, I didn't get anything.

"Meanwhile, under Obasanjo, I served as the Minister of Defence between 2003 and 2007.

"So if you support a president from your region, there's a possibility it ends up being an effort in futility."

APC and PDP are dead parties

On why he traded the two national parties he played pivotal roles in their formation with a novel party, the former senator said anyone who has the interest of the country at heart would not consider any of those two parties that had brought the country to tatters.

To him, the APC and the PDP are dead parties.

He maintained that the two parties which have tasted the presidential seat since the fourth republic has soiled their fingers. 

"The PDP was a party formed in haste. We just wanted to hurry into democratic rule.

"I had to leave the PDP when sharing money became the order of the day.

"Our country was rich and some people were taking advantage of the debacle. 

"The APC has failed everyone as you can see. From security to education to improved living standard.

"No right-thinking person who loves this country would remain in the camp."

Will Kwankwaso step down for any other candidate? 

He said it is catastrophic for anyone to even think that there would be an alignment with other parties or that any serious candidate will step down now.

"NNPP is a frontrunner. Forget those voting on social media whose people won't come from abroad to vote. We are not stepping down for anyone."

"If I consolidate on withdrawing from the race, where does that leave the other candidates from our party?", he questioned. 

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Yusuf Adua
Yusuf Adua

Yusuf Adua is an investigative journalist passionate about politics, solution-based reporting and f...

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